Thomas Pink has decided that the word “pink” is not big enough for two companies to use at the same time, sparking one of the stranger fashion fights around.
Thomas Pink launched the initial volley in this fray, filing an infringement lawsuit against Victoria’s Secret in May in the U.K. on the grounds that by selling clothes under the “Victoria’s Secret Pink” label, Victoria’s Secret had infringed on its trademark in a way that would surely confuse people.
Apparently a lot of people have trouble telling the difference between a $180 men’s dress shirt and a pair of shiny velour sweatpants that say “PINK” on the butt.
Victoria’s Secret pointed out that nobody had ever confused the two brands in all the years it had been using the word “pink” in its stores, fashion shows, and on the rear ends of its garments. While the two companies have stores that are often in close physical proximity and both sell a lot of products that are actually pink, Victoria’s Secret maintains that Thomas Pink has “never experienced even a single instance of consumer confusion as between the parties’ respective trademarks, products, services or businesses.”
That seems likely, as we’re trying to imagine under what circumstances a person seeking high-end tailored dress shirts could walk into a Victoria’s Secret store and not immediately know he was in the wrong place.
Out of concern that the U.K. suit opened the doors to a similar lawsuit in the U.S., the lingerie brand decided to take a preemptive strike in the U.S. last week, filing a declaratory judgment lawsuit in an attempt to get a judge to rule on “the rights of the parties, allowing them to continue the peaceful coexistence that has been in place for many years.”
Both companies actually own U.S. trademarks to various uses of the word “pink.”
Via The Telegraph/Photos: Facebook/Thomas Pink and Victoria’s Secret Pink